Marine chairman Paul Leary says the club’s history-making season has laid the foundations for a brighter future after the Crosby giant-killers announced they broke 18 club records during their fairytale FA Cup run, writes Will Jennings.
Neil Young’s Pitching In Northern Premier League Division One North West side toppled Chester and Colchester to reach the third round and tee up the competition’s biggest ever mismatch against Tottenham.
The eighth-tier minnows, who were 161 league places below Jose Mourinho’s Premier League outfit when the tie was played, went down 5-0 in front of the BBC cameras but captured the hearts of the nation with their thrilling run.
Marine broke records including claiming their first FA Cup victory away at a Football League club, selling their highest number of programmes and having a match broadcast live on national television.
“This has been an historic and record-breaking season for our football club,” said Leary.
MARINE SMASH CLUB RECORDS IN HISTORIC FA CUP RUN https://t.co/3OzxQ0rMC9
— Marine Football Club (@MarineAFC) February 17, 2021
“A total of 18 Club records have been broken or created through our amazing achievements in the Emirates FA Cup.
“Our players, staff, officials, supporters and sponsors are all incredibly proud of what has been achieved this season, culminating in that most magical game at home against Tottenham Hotspur.
“It has been a journey to remember for us all, but we look forward now to the day when we will be able open our gates again for a game – when fans are allowed and life will return to some level of normality.”
Other Marine records included the number of FA Cup rounds progressed through – seven – number of victories against teams in higher leagues – four – and the club’s most wins on penalty shoot-outs in a Cup campaign.
The game against Spurs also marked their maiden encounter against a Premier League team and sold a record-breaking 32,202 virtual tickets.
The Crosby outfit also enjoyed their first Match of the Day Live broadcast, published an FA Cup song, gained 35,000 new Twitter followers after the third round and appointed their first media consultant.
A record of 40 TV, radio and newspaper journalists attended the match against Tottenham and a grateful Leary says their achievements show the magic of the Cup is still alive.
— Marine Football Club (@MarineAFC) January 10, 2021
“The list of records broken or created must itself be a record and demonstrates quite clearly that the magic of the FA Cup lives on,” he added.
“I must especially mention the Tottenham Hotspur fans, who have shown a genuine interest in our football club and demonstrated a clear willingness to help with the purchase of thousands of virtual match tickets.
“Marine officials will forever remember their kindness and expect the very special bond created between the two football clubs to be everlasting.
“Who said the FA Cup is losing its magic? In the leafy suburb of Crosby, that will never be the case.”
Ladbrokes, with the support of its owner Entain, has launched a multi-million pound investment programme, Pitching In, designed to support and promote grassroots sports. The programme includes a flagship partnership with The Isthmian, Northern Premier and Southern Leagues - collectively known as The Trident League, as well as a partnership with the UK sports charity SportsAid. For more details see: https://entaingroup.com/sustainability/pitching-in/